Owners are not always able to be with their pets every second of every day. Whether you’ve been called to work or are going on vacation, there will be times when you won’t be able to take your pet with you. Luckily, you can still make sure your pet gets all the human care it needs by hiring a pet sitter. There are several ways to do this, for example asking around in your neighborhood or using popular apps like Rover or Wag. But no matter how you do it, there is one big mistake you should make always avoid. Read on to find out what the experts say you should never do when hiring a pet sitter.
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The pandemic has had a significant impact on animal husbandry in the United States. In January 2022, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced that over 23 million American households (nearly 1 in 5 nationwide) had adopted a pet during the Covid pandemic, The Washington Post reported. As a result, stats for sitters have also increased. According to the newspaper, overnight board and dog-sitting platform Rover reported record revenue of $157.1 million for the quarter ended September 2021 alone.
“Hiring a pet sitter is a big responsibility. After all, you are entrusting the care of your beloved pet to someone else.” Jill Tayloran expert who runs a local animal care service and the founder of Happy Farmyard, explains best life. “But not everyone will – you want to be sure your pet is in good hands.”
Luckily, experts have some important advice on how to avoid picking the wrong person for the job.
No matter what you’re looking for in a pet sitter, there’s at least one mistake to avoid during the hiring process. Iram Sharmaa veteran vet and content creator for Happy Whisker says you should never hire someone without meeting them first. “This is not a sale. You are hiring someone to take care of your beloved pet and that should not be taken lightly,” she explains. “Always meet and get to know your pet sitter before signing with them.”
According to Sharma, there’s no specific amount of time you need to spend with someone before deciding whether or not you should hire them. “The first meeting can last a few minutes or more than an hour. It all depends on how well things are going and how much you or the sitter have to ask and say,” she says best life. “You can meet the sitter at the park or at your home. Be sure to tell them everything about your pet.”
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If you’ve never hired a pet sitter before, it can be difficult to know what to look for. Jacquelyn Kennedya canine behavior specialist and the founder of PetDT best life The one thing pet owners should always be aware of is whether or not the sitter is asking questions. “A good pet sitter will ask lots of questions about your pet so that they understand their specific needs and can best respond to them,” explains Kennedy. “A bad pet sitter will hardly ask, which means they don’t give your pet personal attention.”
Corresponding Aaron Rice, an experienced dog trainer at Stayyy, other signs of a good pet sitter include responsibility, knowledge of pets, good communication skills, empathy, patience and dependability. “When you’re looking for a pet sitter, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re hiring someone who is reliable and in good standing,” says Rice. “It’s important to hire the right pet sitter that they have a good understanding of your pet’s needs and care. He should know what to do when your pet is sick, how to handle a new animal, and what kind of food and toys are appropriate for your pet.”
While it is necessary to look for someone who has the qualities of a good sitter, it is also important that you understand how your specific pet will interact with a specific person. Aleksandar Mishkov, a dog expert and owner of The Daily Tail, recommends all owners give someone a trial run before hiring them as a pet sitter. “Not all dogs are friendly to strangers,” he explains. “Be sure to tell the sitter what your pet likes and dislikes during a trial walk or afternoon hike.”
According to Mishkov, one should take this time to pay attention to certain things. This includes observing how the prospective sitter behaves with your four-legged companion, whether or not they pay attention to small details, and ultimately how your dog responds to the sitter. “We consider dogs part of our family, so we don’t want to leave them with a stranger they don’t like or love,” he says.